Thursday, March 20, 2014

Endangered egg

It's been a good year for kakapos. The quirky New Zealand parrot breeds only about 3 times per decade and several of the 11 chicks born in 2011 died natural or accidental deaths, leaving only 124 in existence at the end of last year. But 6 of the carefully monitored kakapo chicks have recently hatched, bringing the total to 130. One of these owes its life to senior ranger Jo Ledington with the Department of Conservation’s Kakapo Recovery Program. She discovered that one of the brooding moms on Little Barrier Island had accidentally stepped on her egg, crushing it (IMAGE ABOVE). Ledington carefully repaired the egg with glue and masking tape to allow the bird within to mature and hatch naturally. And on February 28, 2014, out popped "Lisa One" (PHOTOS HERE, VIDEO HERE)! If all goes well, she will live to a ripe old age. The life expectancy of the kakapo is 95 years and some have lived as long as 120, possibly making it the longest-lived bird in the world.

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